Nashville’s Most Expensive Home Is from ABC’s 'Nashville'
Fans of the hit series “Nashville” will find this house familiar: It is (or was) the homestead of Connie Briton’s Rayna James, one of the show's lead characters whose fictional hit discography could afford her this 20,533 square-foot mansion in the overly affluent Belle Meade area of Nashville, Tenn.
So if you love the show and always wanted a closer look at Rayna’s beautiful abode, or if you just want to live vicariously like Nashville’s elite, come check out this work of southern grandeur.
It’s the most expensive home for sale in the Music City, listed at $17.999 million.
'Nashville' Filmed, Then Recreated, the Home
“Nashville” has been running for six years and currently aired 116 episodes. Viewers probably feel like they have a real familiarity with this home — but they don’t.
It only took three episodes for the “Nashville” crew to decide that investing money in building a replica set of the home’s most important rooms was a smarter idea. According to the New York Times, the ABC network commissioned a 3,330-square-foot replica studio set built for around $250,000 in 2012.
But it’s still very close to what the home on the market looks like. The mansion’s architect, Mark Harrison, told the Times, “It’s like a tornado picked up the house and blew it across town” after visiting the set.
Plus, it’s not all facsimile.
The Exterior Shots Are Real
While the studio is only a fraction of the two-story, 20,533 square-foot actual house, the numerous exterior shots and aerial views of the property seen on the show are all from the gloriously real mega estate in Belle Meade.
The Home Is Properly Huge
Naturally the studio couldn’t recreate everything about this mansion because it’s so gigantic.
The main home has five bedrooms, each with their own private bathroom. Then there’s a separate apartment with private entrance which adds an additional bedroom and bathroom.
All in all there are six bedrooms with eight full bathrooms and three half-baths. The home sits on six acres of woodsy Nashville land.
The Kitchen Is Something to Sing About
Fans of “Nashville” will undoubtedly recognize this killer kitchen as a main room in the show.
However, the show’s recreation is only about half the size of the real kitchen which sits at 440 square feet.
The studio loved the kitchen so much that they made copies of the owner’s cake stand and the ceiling-mounted pot rack, according to the New York Times.
And it’s Got a lot of Southern Grandeur
We’ll take a look into the finer details of Grande Bell Meade (as it’s called on the home’s personal website), but just check out just a few of the home’s features:
- - A family room with cathedral ceiling
- - A Cigar room
- - A luxurious den
- - A magnificent stonework porch with copper screening and fireplace
- - A stately, wood-paneled study
- - A safe room
- - A third-floor observatory to observe your glorious homestead
The Seller Isn’t in a Hurry
The house has been on and off the market since at least 2010.
According to the property history, it listed at $22.5 million in October of 2010 and $19.5 million in 2011, until finally settling on its current $17.999 price in 2013.
The owner isn’t much in a hurry — she’s been renting out the place to nonprofits, weddings, events and various fundraisers. Like a fashion/music event from 2015 where tickets went for $500 a pop.
The Entry Is Something Else
The entryway of this mansion really is something else. It’s a 45-foot long run of stone brick walls with ceiling-high columned archways and a wooden floor covered by a sky-lit domed ceiling.
It ends with a flourish with a floating spiral staircase which might go all the way up to the third-floor observatory.
We don’t think the hallway is actually shown in the show (longtime viewers, let us know!), but you may have seen it somewhere else.
Taste the Rainbow of Wealth
If you watched Super Bowl 50 in 2016, you might remember a Skittles commercial featuring Steven Tyler. You know, the one where the Aerosmith lead singer wanders down a really long two-story foyer framed by billowing sheets and sets of armor to meet his bizarre, talking, Skittle-pieced portrait unveiled by an Andy Warhol wannabe? That whole place — which was supposed to be Tyler’s house in the commercial — is actually this mansion.
The deal was probably one of the more lucrative events for Roberts’ daily rentals. Given that a 30-second ad spot for Super Bowl 50 cost $5 million, Skittles probably wasn’t stingy with their production budget.
The home was also featured in the 2017 County Music Award’s, wherein Nashville star Charles Esten walks around the home and encounters various country music musicians. There are some fantastic shots of the dining room, kitchen, living room and bedroom in the scene. Plus, it’s pretty funny. Take a look.
Holy Moly, That Wine Room!
Head to the basement and you’ll find a whole new floor of entertainment possibilities, including a huge, heavenly wine room that can hold 3,000 bottles of wine.
The area is climate controlled, the walls are stonework and brick with inlaid barrels, the floors are antique brick herringbone pattered, the ceiling is beamed and there are lighted displayed niches. And of course there’s a wine tasting area.
But the coolest thing about this wine room might be the entrance way, with a pair of antique Tilly doors framed by two floor-to-ceiling length panes of glass at the end of a dining hall. It’s like an entrance to a medieval dungeon, only instead of torture devices, there’s just a ton of good wine. It’s more where a king would go than where a peasant would.
Get Cozy Like Versace
While the whole estate is overflowing with opulence, there’s one particular mantle that might stand out from the rest.
That mantle is in the main floor cigar room, which is a piece of art in itself.
That’s because the mantle is from the former estate of famed fashion designer Gianni Versace. It also looks really expensive — although that’s not a surprise.
Nine Minutes to the Bluebird Café
This place may be secluded, but it’s also just a quick drive to downtown Nashville.
When you’re done singing in one the home’s eight full bathrooms, take a nine-minute drive to the Bluebird Café, where you can audition for a chance to woo the audience like so many country music superstars have done in the past.
Old World Charm
The home has a load of unique flourishes and is advertised as being “appointed with rare one-of-a-kind artifacts.”
There are hand-carved capitals on wooden columns and gargoyle reliefs adorn one of the numerous fireplace mantles.
A painting of Clark Gable rests at the top of the floating staircase and the numerous vintage paintings, candelabras and a miniature suit of armor or two really make this place feel like it’s been around forever.
The Home Theatre Has a Mini Castle
A mega mansion wouldn’t be a mega mansion without a home theatre, but this one is particularly awesome.
Not only does it buck the trend of tiered seating and instead opts for comfy couches, it also includes a little castle! According to Stylish Retreats, the miniature castle includes bunk beds for kids. Or you can just invite someone over for “Netflix and castle.”
It’s a Custom Build
While the home may look like it’s been around for quite some time, it’s relatively new.
Architect Mark Harrison built the house in 1999. According to Zillow, those eye-popping brick columns were inspired by similar brick columns found in New Orleans. The house itself is all brick, and the builders used custom-made bricks imported from Virginia.
Interior designer Mary Spalding decorated the estate with vintage antiques, giving it a rustic, old world feel. And there are tons of antiques.
Who Owns It?
The house belongs to Sylvia Roberts, a Nashville philanthropist and socialite. She and her now-ex-husband Richard Roberts had the home custom built. And money wasn’t an issue.
According to Nashville Scene, “Roberts is a remarkably successful Nashville entrepreneur. He made hundreds of millions of dollars in the 1990s from a bankcard payment processing company he founded and took public with business partner Greg Daily. The 1998 merger that made them their fortune was valued at more than $1 billion.”
He’s currently the CEO of Verus Healthcare. He also allegedly hit someone in the head with a blunt object during some kind of road rage incident in 2005.
Check Out That Cabana
Imagine doing some night swimming under the glow of a roaring fire surrounded by a mega mansion.
The huge pool, which is nestled within the mansion’s curling architecture, comes with a cozy cabana with a ridiculously big fireplace.
The Dining Room Is for the Finest of Dining
Off the main foyer is a beautiful dining room with an extravagant chandelier that is almost as big as the table.
Game (and Gorge) in the Basement
The basement is like a whole other house. Walk down the stonework staircase and past the wine cellar (if you can resist it) and you’ll find a billiards/game room with a fireplace and a pinball area.
Additionally, there’s a huge workshop, a flex room, lots of storage space, a bathroom and even a catering kitchen.
That will be useful when all of your drunk friends stumble out of the wine room demanding 400 chicken wings.
It’s a Party Paradise
If those music snobs with standards at the Grand Ole Opry won’t return your calls, just throw your own concert in the backyard.
There’s enough onsite parking for more than 300 cars and scores of guests — the owner told the New York Times she threw a party for 1,200 teenagers when her son turned 18.
The site is well suited for concerts as Jerry Lewis, Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley and Paul Simon have all performed on the grounds at some point.
It’s for Horse Lovers, too
Not far from the main house is a rustic two-stall barn with tack and feed rooms to keep a couple of equine friends. A riding trail stretches from the six-acre property straight into the 3,000-acre natural preserve of Percy Warner Park.
If only Rayna had hopped on a horse instead…